James Mendelssohn - Chairman James has lived in the area for almost 30 years and moved into the village in 2008. He is married to Caroline, a long-time resident of Thursley. They are both actively involved in many aspects of village life and believe strongly in the need to maintain our heritage whilst recognising the need to plan for the future.  In his business life, he is the Chairman of a global network of independent, mid-sized, law and accounting firms; provides consultancy services to a number of professional services firms, and chairs a charity focusing on the provision of education in South Africa.


Responsibilities: PC Chairman, Planning Committee Member, Stand In (all areas), Recreation Ground Trustee

Contact Details: Telephone 07941 507753 / email:

Pecuniary Interest Form 

John Swift  - Vice Chair

.John was born in Kenya and came to England in the 60’s where he grew up in St Albans.  He married, and lived in South Cambridgeshire where his 3 children were born, but moved to Surrey in 1991, living initially in Beacon Hill.  In 1998, the family moved to Bowlhead Green. John qualified as a Chemical Engineer and worked in the contracting and process licensing industry since graduation in the 70’s.  He is now enjoying retirement in beautiful Surrey.  He is interested in the environment, gardening and dog walking. 


Responsibilities: Vice-Chair, Planning Committee Member, Bowlhead Green, Finance, New Parisioners, Climate & Sustainability

Contact Details: Telephone (01428) 685120 / email: 

Pecuniary Interest Form

Helen Flavell

Helen was born in Harrogate and spent much of her early life in Cheltenham. She has lived in Thursley since 2008. She is married to Leon and has two sons, Jake and William.

For most of her professional career, Helen has worked as a property development solicitor for a large, City of London firm. Her role consisted largely of site assembly and project funding with considerable overlap in the areas of construction and planning law.

Her interests include playing tennis, horticulture and life in Thursley.

Responsibilities:  Planning Committee Chair, BOAT's

Contact Details: Telephone 01428 683543  / email:

Pecuniary Interest Form 

John Luff


John served an engineering apprenticeship with Weyburn Engineering, Elstead, eventually becoming a draughtsman there, before joining a municipal vehicle manufacturer on sales.  He became Export Sales Director at the same company, establishing an agency network throughout Europe and North Africa until 1987.  After some years managing a factory in Natal, South Africa, he spent the remaining years before retirement with an aircraft recovery equipment manufacturer..


Responsibilities: Planning Committee Member, Warren Park

Contact Details: email: 

Pecuniary Interest Form

Richard Owen 

Richard was brought up in Horsham, West Sussex before leaving to study Geology at Royal Holloway. He then moved to London to start a trading job in the city, which he still does today.  His wife Louise and he moved to Pitch Place six years ago and with their twin boys ,Josh and Ollie, who spent two happy years at Butterflies nursery. He loves living in Thursley and enjoys walking the dog on the common, cycling in the hills and socialising in the shoes.



Responsibilities:  Planning Committee Member, Fire Liaison, Recreation Ground (including play area), Recreation Ground Trustee

Contact Details: 

Pecuniary Interest Form


Michelle de Vries 

.Michelle  was born in The Bahamas but moved to the UK at a young age growing up in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, before attending senior school in London. After leaving school she entered the music industry working in recording studios and managing artists before moving to New York where she lived for 7 years and worked as a music publisher. After returning to the Uk she now works for herself overseeing all aspects of music in Uk and US television and film productions.

She and her partner David moved to Thursley in 2018 

Her hobbies include, walking her dog, Izzy Stardust, riding her horse Charlie on Thursley and Hankley Commons, and taking photographs of the Devils Punchbowl . She is also interested in Middle East History and Politics and has edited various books on the subject.

Her charity work includes being a long term volunteer for the Michael j Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research and she and David also run their own charity raising money for refugees in Jordan, she also mentors young women in the music industry.

Responsibilities:  Planning Committee Member, Hankley Common Users Group,

Contact Details:

Pecuniary Interest Form


David Sellars   

David grew up in rural Yorkshire, studied for a Mechanical Engineering and Alternative Energy degree at Cardiff University, and then lived in SW London for 25 years building his own management consultancy business delivering large Information Technology projects for clients in Central government, Defence, Banking and Law Enforcement across the UK.

In 2007 he moved to a small farm in Dockenfield where he lived with his dogs, cats, chickens, sheep and horses whilst commuting back into London. In 2018 he moved to Thursley with his fiancée Maria, two dogs and cats, and they have enjoyed getting to know their neighbours and supporting local businesses such as the Three Horseshoes. They appreciate walking their two dogs on the wonderful local commons, and David is keen to actively contribute to the community in which they now live.

Responsibilities: tbc

Contact Details: 

Pecuniary Interest Form